Fictions at The Studio Museum in Harlem, through January 7, 2018

Fictions is a survey of recent work by nineteen artists who live and work across the United States. The title Fictions refers to both the alternate narratives that artists create and the falsehoods often understood as truth. From the personal to the political and the everyday to the imagined, the exhibition examines the stories that form the foundation of these artists’ practices. In some cases, the artists construct their own truths and mythologies, while others act as witnesses to their lived experiences through their practices. Engaging with a variety of media—including video, photography, painting, drawing, sculpture, and installation—the featured artists seek to investigate the complexities of the contemporary moment, from the prison-industrial complex to race and gender.

Exploring art’s relationship to the concerns of African-American, Latinx, U.S., and global artistic communities, the artists’ sources are as varied as the civil rights movement, recent events, and speculative fiction, a literary genre with futuristic or otherworldly elements and settings. Many incorporate everyday objects into their work, reference urban architecture and economies, or use new media to explore popular culture and Americana. From culinary tradition to religion, what unites these artists is their deep ties to culture, place, and historical context within the diverse environments they inhabit.

Fictions brings together artists from locations around the country, including Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina, and Texas. It also marks the first time that works by any of these artists have been in an exhibition at The Studio Museum in Harlem. Reflecting on concerns at the core of the Studio Museum’s mission, including questions around race, identity, and the continued visibility of artists of African descent, together the works illustrate a sample of the diversity of artistic practice in the United States today.” — Introductory Wall Text

Texas Isaiah, My Name Is My Name I, 2016. Digital photograph, 20 × 30 in. Edition of 3. Courtesy the artist

Texas Isaiah, My Grandson’s Stretch, 2016. Digital photograph, 20 × 30 in. Edition of 3. Courtesy the artist

Amy Sherald, The Make Believer (Monet’s Garden), 2016. Oil on canvas, 54 × 43 in. Private Collection. Courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago

Amy Sherald, The Boy With No Past, 2014. Oil on canvas, 54 × 43 in. Private Collection. Courtesy the artist and Monique Meloche Gallery, Chicago

Paul Stephen Benjamin, God Bless America, 2016. On view in Fictions, The Studio Museum in Harlem. Photo: Adam Reich

Christina Quarles, A Part Apart (Fade), 2017 Acrylic on canvas, 60 × 72 in. Collection of Samdani Art Foundation; courtesy David Castillo Gallery, Miami. Photo: Brica Wilcox

Deborah Roberts, Rope-a-dope, 2017. Mixed media on paper, 30 × 22 in. Collection of Sarah Arison. Courtesy the artist and Fort Gansevoort, New York. Photo: Philip Rogers

Deborah Roberts, The Sleepwalkers, 2017. Mixed media on paper, 44 × 32 in. Jenkins Johnson Collection, San Francisco. Courtesy the artist and Fort Gansevoort, New York. Photo: Philip Rogers

Devan Shimoyama, Shape Up and a Trim, 2017. Mixed media, 48 × 36 in. Courtesy the artist and De Buck Gallery, New York. Photo: Adam Reich

Genevieve Gaignard, site-specific installation, 2017. On view in Fictions, The Studio Museum in Harlem. Photo: Adam Reich

Allison Janae Hamilton, Foresta, 2017. On view in Fictions, The Studio Museum in Harlem. Photo: Adam Reich

Allison Janae Hamilton, Foresta, 2017. On view in Fictions, The Studio Museum in Harlem. Photo: Adam Reich

Matthew Angelo Harrison, Hole 1.005 The Consequence of Synthetic Apertures, 2016. Zebra skull, automotive clay, acrylic, 23 3/4 × 14 × 12 1/2 in. Private Collection. Courtesy Jessica Silverman Gallery, San Francisco

Krista Clark, Stopped Westviews Through Ontario, 2017. Mixed media, 84 × 144 in. approximately. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Adam Reich

Michael Demps, Untitled: Dehiscent Echo (installation view), 2017. Rock salt, rochelle salt (piezo-electric crystals), candle wax (scented), steel, insulation foam, fiberglass resin, contact mics, low frequency tactile transducers and 288 HZ loop, dimensions variable. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Adam Reich

Nikita Gale, BIG BAD PICKUP, 2017. Mixed media, 82 × 42 1/2 × 31 1/2 in. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Adam Reich

Patrick Martinez, los angeles landscape (echo park), 2017. Ceramic, found banner tarp, ceramic tile on stucco, and neon on panel, 48 × 108 in. Courtesy the artist and Charlie James Gallery, Los Angeles. Photo: Michael Underwood

Sable Elyse Smith, 7666 Nights– Falling, 2017. Digital print on Fujiflex, suede and artist frame, 40 × 48 in. Courtesy the artist. Photo: Adam Reich

Maya Stovall, Untitled A, 2017. On view in Fictions, The Studio Museum in Harlem. Photo: Adam Reich

Jazmin Urrea, Red40, 2017. On view in Fictions, The Studio Museum in Harlem. Photo: Adam Reich

Walter Price, Extra Virgin Olive Oil, 2017. Acrylic on canvas, 60 × 48 in. Courtesy the artist and Karma, New York. Photo: Adam Reich

Stephanie J. Williams, PINOY/PLOY (still), 2016. Stop motion puppet animation. TRT: 00:05:58. Courtesy the artist

Fictions is organized by Connie H. Choi, Associate Curator, Permanent Collection, and Hallie Ringle, Assistant Curator.

Images courtesy The Studio Museum in Harlem.